Ruberto PEDA Bound?

The Planet has yet to master bi- and tri-location, but we have something even better: our network of spies. They were at the City Council meeting last night, the CEDS meeting earlier in the day, in various offices at city hall, in the municipal departments, in many places downtown, and at other locations throughout the county.

That is how we stay in touch: through the reports from and comments of our field correspondents, secret agents, gumshoes, commandos, operatives, and others who are member the The Planet’s Secret Squadron. They respond by computer, phone, text, and many other ways.

RUBERTO: Next PEDA chief? He denies report.

Thus, it came to pass that we received a rather startling missive from The Stooley, one of our secret agents who has appeared in this space before. The Stooley informs us that, according to trusted sources on the city council and elsewhere, Mayor Jimmy Ruberto will be appointed the next head of the Pittsfield Economic Development Authority (PEDA), succeeding Bill Hines, who will be stepping down next month.

According to sources cited by The Stooley, there are four scenarios under which this could take place:

(1) The mayor fulfills his term and prior to his leaving, appoints himself as PEDA director.

(2) The mayor fulfills his term, and after leaving, wins election as PEDA director. Under these two scenarios, an interim director would be in place from May 2011 to January 2012.

(3) The mayor resigns prior to the end of his term, having first appointed himself as PEDA head. City council president Gerry Lee then becomes interim mayor.

(4) The mayor resigns prior to the end of his term then wins election immediately as PEDA director. Lee becomes interim mayor. In scenarios (3) and (4), the mayor could be in place as early as May.

Mayor Issues a Denial

The PEDA site next to Silver Lake.

At first glance, the notion of Ruberto as PEDA director sounds far fetched, but match that with his repeated comment that, upon leaving office (whether early or after his term expires) he wants to stick around Pittsfield and become a super-salesman for the city. That could be taken as a job definition of PEDA director.

A story this big needs to be vetted as much as possible without betraying sources. We checked with the mayor, who told The Planet: “Dan; First off, none of the scenarios you mentioned have any validity. In fact, [none have] been discussed. But thanks for the idea. No one believes in the economic development of Pittsfield than me and Bill [Hines]. It would be a great job if someone else could deal with GE and the EPA. You simply can’t believe how slow the wheels turn in the EPA bureaucracy.”

There it is, an official denial, for the record.

The only thing left to wonder is if the mayor’s denial is like the dreaded vote of confidence a general manager gives a manager or coach just prior to the axing.


Kissing Up, or, The Kiss of Death

"Great" magazine is "great" ... uh, right, whatever.

Speaking of the kiss of death, since the Boring Broadsheet published the gushing non-story of the non-sale trying to create the fiction that the financially troubled Berkshire Living magazine was going to be purchased by a deep-pocketed Knight in Shining Armor, have you noticed the periodic (though no less embarrassing) letters to the editor in the BB?

These letters are clearly put-up jobs. The latest is today, by someone who writes to say “what a great magazine” it is. They ran “a great article about farm stands” [no, the Planet isn’t making this up!]. We then find out, again, that “It is a truly great magazine.” That’s enough “greats” to be grating.

Funny how we keep hearing reports of the magazine stiffing its vendors. We recently heard from a writer friend, for example, who is still looking for money owed by Berkshire Unliving for a cover story written months ago. As if this isn’t bad enough, the nitwit editor of Berkshire Undying gets caught while on jury duty sending smoke signals about the case from his burning “Gosh, I’m hip, aren’t I Aren’t I?” fedora.

One magazine insider predicts the beautifully glossy-but-anorexic-and-getting-smaller mag will fold at the end of the year. Time will tell, oh beautiful people.


Tin Tony Tony Tips His Hand

MAFFUCCIO: Deja foo, all over again.

The BB did break a huge story today on B1, noting what The Planet knew in December, as soon as Ward 7 councilor Joe Nichols said he would run for mayor. The Incredible Shrinking Man, Tony Maffuccio, will seek the seat he nearly broke for a bunch of years as Ward 7’s rep.

After his weight loss, Maffuccio never regained the stature he never had in the first place, and he got smoked by Jumpin’ Joe Nichols in the election. With a straight face, Tin-Ton Tony told the BB that Nichols mayoral plans had nothing to do with his re-election. Of course it didn’t.

We hope Anthony enjoys his time in the limelight again, since it will end prematurely. We have the name of a candidate for Ward 7 who will be declaring at some point. This person will be unbeatable. We bases this assessment on the person’s knowledge, stamina, relentlessness, and ethics. We will not reveal his or her name, but remember that The Planet has declared this person as the new Ward 7 rep.

If we gave the name in code, it would be *@^^@%)/(!&#+-==. You Edgar Allen Poe fans out there, read “The Gold Bug.” It will give you a clue.


Big Chief Asphalt Recycler

“If they buy it, it must be a boondoggle” — Pittsfield resident, prior to learning the council approved spending $125,000 on a pothole machine.

City gets a grinder.

Our friend, The General, sums up the prevailing attitude in a citizenry sick and tired of being sick and tired by such lame political representation. The $125,000 pothole machine might be the greatest thing since dinosaurs roamed the earth in flip-flops, but how would We The People know it? How can anyone trust the government anymore, knowing that most of the time The Fix Is In. Which reminds us of a story involving the new ambulance company that we don’t have time to tell.

From Dick Lindsay’s report in the BB: “The council Tuesday night unanimously approved using unused funds …”

“Using unused funds.”

I took a trip back in time, in (Kevin) Sherman and Mr. Peabody’s Way Back Machine. I found myself in a college lecture room. The professor brings in examples of dead and dying prose. I don sunglasses to hide the glaze in my eyes.

I love Dick Linsday the man, and I understand that as a radio guy he is out of his element in print, and he must be lucky to have a gig, but … “using unused funds”?

Anyway, the unanimous deal bought an asphalt recycler that “could arrive” in the next month.

Translation: It will get here in January 2015.

The city will issue a request for bids from suppliers for the machine.

The Planet knows nothing about potholes except when our chariot finds one, but this sounds like a reasonable purchase. Amortized over the years, the recycler should pay for itself, providing one BIG IF: The city must maintain the machine and keep it in good working order.

Meanwhile, another far more intriguing story emerged last  night from the council meeting, courtesy of Secret Agent Z12.

Angelo Me No Angelos, Peter Marchetti

MARCUZZI? — Please, Pete, stay away from Biddeford, Maine.

One of our spies at the meeting noted a matter of far greater importance, one that somehow eluded Lindsay’s attention. This was the appearance of councilor Peter Marchetti in his “Angelo Stracuzzi” trick-or-treat outfit, replete with slicked back hair and pinstriped suit.

What is going on with that? Has Peter channeled the ghost of the disgraced former CEP of the Biggest Financial Company in the Berkshires? We hope not. We feel honor-bound to advise our Right Honorable Good Friend not to make any trips to Maine … particularly Biddeford, Maine.




  1. GMHeller
    March 9, 2011 at 1:46 pm #

    Mr. Valenti,
    What is the salary of the head of the Pittsfield Economic Development Authority?
    Out of which budget is that salary paid?
    Given that it’s plainly a patronage appointment and since Pittsfield is technically bankrupt, it might be a good idea to inquire of prospective mayoral candidates if they will move to make the position volunteer with zero compensation.

  2. Josh
    March 9, 2011 at 2:20 pm #

    The same Tony Maffuccio who was arrested on suspicion of domestic violence two years ago during the election season (which the Eagle failed to mention in today’s article)? The same Tony Maffuccio who finished last in a field of four candidates in the 2009 primary, not even advancing to the general election which he had won handily the past three cycles? The same Tony Maffuccio who never responds to media requests for interviews or articles leading up to elections? The voters spoke loudly two years ago, and it’s time for Ward 7 to move on from the past.

    As far as PEDA goes, the selection of a new director must come from outside the “Pittsfield Loop”. Treating the PEDA director position as a patronage job does little in the eyes of prospective tenants and major employers to remove the stigma from Pittsfield as a city which prides itself more on scratching each other’s backs than actually making progress. Who would want to employ hundreds or thousands of people in an area where this type of behavior is the standard culture?

    A leader for the organization is needed who is not inherently poisoned by the often toxic nature of Pittsfield politics, and who will actually make tangible progress on recruiting business here. This type of person should have been hired in 1998 when the project began, but we’ve twittled our thumbs for the past 13 years, and not one new job has been created as a result of the consent decree and subsequent demolition. It may not be an easy task to accomplish, but there surely is someone outside of the local region who can help make some real progress.

    • danvalenti
      March 10, 2011 at 11:35 am #

      Do not know, but I agree it would make for interesting reading.
      Extremely well written and reasoned.

  3. toto
    March 9, 2011 at 2:24 pm #

    Dan, the new magic pothole machine as payroll calls it. (laugh) is really the former ol popcorn machine, on steroids.

    • danvalenti
      March 10, 2011 at 11:36 am #

      New Magic Pothole Machine needum heap big wampum. Braves of city no like.

  4. toto
    March 9, 2011 at 2:49 pm #

    William Legrande? Dan?

  5. rick
    March 9, 2011 at 3:26 pm #

    their should be a peda office built in the middle of the site,
    so the director and his staff can conduct their buisness on site no need for electric or heat, all the pcbs underneath that site will keep them well lit and warm.

    • GMHeller
      March 9, 2011 at 4:36 pm #

      Better yet, let PEDA conduct all its business from a float erected on Silver Lake; all the patronage hires will be diagnosed with brain, blood, and/or lymphatic Cancers within 11 years, and the matter of a do-nothing PEDA with nothing to show for years of existence will solve itself.

    • rick
      March 9, 2011 at 5:37 pm #

      they can start a garden to cut down on the boredom,….u ever see the size of the veggies that come out of that area……pcbs makes for great fertilizer…tomato the size of basketballs .

  6. Jim Gleason
    March 9, 2011 at 3:48 pm #

    The people of Ward 7, of which I am one< hae not forgotten the way Maffuccio abandoned us after his arrest and that of his girlfriend in 2008. We haven't forgotten how he didn't show for meetings, never returned calls and if he did show for a meeting, didn't say a word during the proceedings to support us. Much progress has been made since his departure such as having a true advocate for our ward as well as for the real people of Pittsfield and not just another rubber stamp. We notice how you're acting as an attack dog for your old and present bosses against Joe Nichols. We know you didn't leave your seat voluntarily but were voyed out in a loud dismissal. Go away and stay gone Maffuccio. Your kind is no longer needed or wanted in Pittsfield and especially not in Ward 7.

    • danvalenti
      March 10, 2011 at 11:40 am #

      I have heard from numerous Ward 7 residents who express similar feelings about Mr. Maffuccio, issuing similar complaints. He is the LAST thing Ward 7 or the city needs at this point.

  7. J Engwer
    March 9, 2011 at 3:54 pm #

    The more candidates on the ballot, the better for voters.
    Having choices is always a good thing. Looking forward to a interesting city election season.

    • danvalenti
      March 10, 2011 at 11:40 am #

      Agreed. More choices, more debate.

      • rick
        March 12, 2011 at 7:35 am #

        more debates are a definite, maybe dan you could get speranzo to moderate one with you.

  8. Jim Gleason
    March 9, 2011 at 3:57 pm #

    Beside the Angeblow look alike costume, Marchetti shut off debate with some hocus pocus that Gerry Lee went along with to shut Melissa Mazzeo, who was making good points and asking good questions, off from doing so any longer. If not for her and Joe much of the shady dealings of the ruberto administration would still be under cover and not in the light of day. Actions like this hurt us all, not to mention any thoughts Marchetti might have had to be mayor.

  9. Jonathan Melle
    March 9, 2011 at 5:07 pm #

    Jimmy Ruberto, Carmen Massimiano, Angelo Stracuzzi…PITTSfield is doomed by the Good Old Boy network. PEDA will continue to be a mecca for Fortune 500 companies. he he ha ha.

  10. rick
    March 9, 2011 at 5:30 pm #

    roberto had a little hissy fit last night at mellissa, i thought a cat fight was going to occur….in which she(mazzeo) would have won hands down. to late for the old guys…she was good to go. roberto is on his give the house away tour.. untill this guy leaves they have to vote down anything he brings to the table..and i hope the voters remember the yes people in november…. this is tax payers money their giving away to a friend, and that is going to piss off a lot of people. this is definitly the worst bunch ive seen in quite awhile………. excluding nichols..mazzeo..sherman

  11. Rosco K. Barrett
    March 9, 2011 at 6:54 pm #

    Danny V,

    The meteor shower that hit Pittsfield better known at cavernous potholes has finally gotten its day on the agenda. Mike Ward can’t ride his unicycle down such pitted streets. While we are in a period of “wait and see” as to how our roads will be following repair, the pothole machine could or couldn’t be a terrible investment. An asphalt recycler can be an impressive beast but at a hefty price. Visitors to the area are more valued to our local economy by spending money at local establishments and tourist traps rather than getting wheel realignments. Looks like we’ll wait and see. Oh and Ward 7 is going to be like botta bing botta boom.

  12. Mike
    March 9, 2011 at 7:13 pm #

    there aren’t enough characters in your message to break the cipher by the method used in The Gold Bug

    • danvalenti
      March 10, 2011 at 11:42 am #

      Technically true, Mike. But there’s a key in both my cipher and in the Gold Bug code that would solve this. Impressed, though, of your knowledge of The Divine Edgar.

  13. Dusty
    March 10, 2011 at 2:31 am #

    Yesterday in Bell, California the voters stormed the voting booths and voted out the entire city council. Apparently they were in cahoots with a crooked mayor. Imagine that.

    The taxpayers have vowed to take their city back and it gives me a warm feeling that somewhere there are people who can band together to fight rampant corruption.
    Pittsfield residents would do well to Google Bell, California and read about this inspirational city.

    • danvalenti
      March 10, 2011 at 11:43 am #

      This is a KEY point. We The People have the power, if we but dare to take it. It’s time to drive a huge turnout, take back government from the Special Interests, and start cleaning up the mess. It CAN be done.

  14. rick
    March 10, 2011 at 3:07 am #

    if roberto is given that job at peda, i think it might be time to have legal action taken. they need to clean up this network that is working against the people, roberto is no salesman, he proved it these past eight years..and now marchetti wants to run. it never stops, another spineless lap dog wants the corner office…this guy is a banker who likes to spend other peoples money, look at his last vote……bianchi were are you, we need some one who can bring some pride back to pittsfield, and get our finances back in order. roberto…just leave……u blew into town….spent tons of cash to get elected and raised taxes.. sounds like someone who has no respect for money..

  15. toto
    March 10, 2011 at 4:44 am #

    2 rick..No question Dan Bianchi would make a great Mayor. But the time to elect him was last campaign. I don’t think Dan could do what he envisions for the city at this time. The Council and Mayor have put us in a raise taxes or else position for the next cycle. Dan doesn’t want to punish people by burdening them with tax increases. With that being said, I will vote for Dan if he runs, tax hike or not. If anything, we need civility brought back to this city.

  16. toto
    March 10, 2011 at 4:50 am #

    On this issue of PEDA, it seems like smoke and mirrors. Haven’t heard anything about Ruberto wanting the job, who makes these things up anyway? If he were to be the PEDA Salesman, the salary should be One Dollar.

  17. Joetaxpayer
    March 10, 2011 at 6:28 am #

    Marchetti is Roberto clone,if his mission is all about increasing funding for police fire and education with are dwindling tax base and pop. who do you think is going to pay for this DUH tax increases for everyone.We need a Mayor that has the balls to touch the 3rd rail(police,fire and education)make some inovated cuts that have minimal impact on the citizens.

  18. Big Chief Barroom Politics
    March 10, 2011 at 7:25 am #

    The Ruberto to PEDa rumor is real all right. Ask Paul Capitanio about it. Don’t think the mayor will take it but you never know. Maffuccio and Marchetti? The first was the WORst councilor in Ward 7 history, sad that he was my representative for six years. Never again. The second would be a disastrous choice since hes indecisivie and too mixed up in what an earlier post called the Pittsfield Loop.

  19. Comparison
    March 10, 2011 at 9:37 am #


    What are you trying to insinuate when making a comparison between Marchetti and Stracuzzi? In the past you played coy in regards to Marchetti’s homosexuality.

    I like your work, but you are coming across as a gay basher; one that categorizes gays and pedophelia similarly.

    It would be appreciated if you were straight forward in regard to your stance on homosexuals.

    (I, for one, believe that people who discriminate are ignorant bigots and should be subjected to great pains)

    • danvalenti
      March 10, 2011 at 11:48 am #

      I agree completely with you, especially the statement on bigotry. I respect a person’s private choices, and the one’s sexuality is not, in my view, an issue here. The comparison has to do with enabling the GOB politics that have run roughshod over the city. Hope that is clear enough.

      • Comparison
        March 10, 2011 at 11:55 am #

        Thank you very much

        • danvalenti
          March 10, 2011 at 12:39 pm #

          My pleasure. You raised a fair issue. As Mr. Marchetti said himself, it should not be an issue in the campaign, but it will be. Pittsfield is still a blue-collar town. Senior citizens vote with the greatest frequency of any age group. They tend to be against gay marriage and in support of “traditional” marriage. The Planet has no problem with civil marriage for loving couples.

    • Joetaxpayer
      March 10, 2011 at 3:51 pm #

      The fact that Pete is gay has no bearing on anything dont really care want my vote cut spending show some leadership and inovation.Gay, female ,straight, transgender, or morphadite dont care cut the budget,stop the bs with labeling!

      • Joe Pinhead
        March 12, 2011 at 11:09 am #

        His sexuality has nothing to do with why he is eyeing your back pocket. Hang on to your wallet tightly.

  20. toto
    March 10, 2011 at 10:20 am #

    I believe in what you say, Paul is truthful!

  21. Payroll Patriot
    March 10, 2011 at 11:15 am #

    Palookaville 9 Facts & Fun

    1. Mayor Ruberto does not own property in Pittsfield. What property taxes?

    2. King James get $4,800 pay raise and tells rest of city employees to go eat cake, while he eats steak.

    3. King James and city employees (schools) tell taxpayers they can eat crumbs

    4. Tim runs red magic pothole machine, while other FFs go shopping for groceries

    5. Keystone cops replaced by Car 54: Tooty (Barrett) and Muldoon (Lee) in $$$ taxpayer water employee break approx $250,000. Car 54 did investigate with expected result.

    6. Barrett follows Governor’s idea to get out of state, applies for Sumo tag team with magic pothole machine salesman.

    7. Mazzeo wants name change to Rodney: “I can’t get no respect”

    8. Marchetti would not be the first gay mayor; Sara Hathaway beat him to it.

    9. Vince Lombardi quote sums up the council meeting. “What the hell’s going on out there?”

  22. danvalenti
    March 10, 2011 at 11:43 am #

    What’s not to love about “Red Magic Pothole Machine”?

  23. toto
    March 10, 2011 at 2:40 pm #

    Ah, remember the days of the Big Red Machine. Sparky would be proud of this useless purchase. One day this useless contraption will adorn a corner on a street and make popcorn, for all the Artsy patrons.

  24. Stuart Sargent Jr.
    March 10, 2011 at 5:10 pm #

    Mr. Valenti
    I agreed with the statement I heard you say recently, that the Berkshire Eagle is terrible. Have you seen any articles about the town of Dalton in the last five years?
    Democracy does not exist in Dalton. The one responsibility that the Selectboard in Dalton has is to oversee the town manager. Of course, all the information the Selectboard gets goes through the town managers office.
    As a one time Selectman in Dalton I was using the MA Attorney generals office and the ethics committee as guides to help me do my job properly. When I tried to apply the proper procedures in investigating whether the town manager was doing his job properly, I began to get resistance from the people who he has control over hiring and firing. Because of a personal injury and the lack of respect for my being an elected official, I stepped down from the Selectboard. This is an example of one of many stories from Dalton that the Eagle should have covered.
    Why would anyone run for mayor when the best government position in Massachusetts is town manager? In Dalton the town manager only has to answer to the majority of selectmen (his buddies), he doesn’t have to spend campaign money to get elected (he’s appointed by the selectboard), his pay , with benefits, is over $100,000.00 for a four day (and some weeks, a three day)week. Why would you want any other position??
    Thank you.
    Stuart Sargent Jr.

    • Joetaxpayer
      March 11, 2011 at 5:09 am #

      The town should elect the town manager and vote him out.From what I have seen,he likes to spend an tax.

  25. Dusty
    March 11, 2011 at 12:44 am #

    Ruberto denies PEDA interest? That would be nice if I believed one word that comes out of that mans mouth.

  26. Joetaxpayer
    March 11, 2011 at 9:55 am #

    Wondering if any of the Mayoral hopefulls will pledge not to raise property taxes,that would get my vote.